When you think of quality computing hardware one of the first names that comes up in your head is ASUS. That said, ASUS have been at the forefront of consumer computing technology. Their reliability as well is legendary at this front. They also make some of the best main boards in terms of sales and technological prowess. This is important because the most important and most basic part when building your customised computer system is the motherboard.
ASUS has been known to make some of the best and most reliable ones in the market. Their boards always feature cutting-edge technologies that manages almost every single part of the board and attachments connected to the board; allowing you to fine tune your rig to your preference. Each one of their boards is also tailored to be able to suit a wide range of users.
The motherboard is where you attach the all-powerful processing chip, i.e. the Intel Core i7, or whichever processor you choose. It is also where you attach parts like the RAM sticks, Graphic Cards, power supply, hard drives, solid-state drives, and others. It is the bed that links up all these peripherals and make them work as one functioning computer, be it a regular computer or a gaming rig.
With the New Year 2017 they are going at it again with their new series of Z270 chipset motherboards. This time they have introduced the new ROG, TUF, and Prime series to cater to cater to different wants and needs for the year 2017.
First up, the ROG Z270 series. For the year 2017 they will be offering a number of solutions for all sorts of gamers. In the ROG Z270 you can expect to see the Maximus and STRIX series under the same brand name (finally). The Maximus series starts with the top class Extreme board designed for liquid-cooled systems, trickling down to Formula, Code, Hero, Gene, and Impact. The Gene and Impact family are designed for Micro-ATX ad Mini-ATX builds. The STRIX family also has the same categorisation as the Maximus family. The design philosophy of the top end ROG Maximus family is said to be inspired by Cyberpunk concept. The STRIX however is inspired by the Japanese Katana, and if we are being honest, we do find that some of the heat sink designs on the STRIX does look like a small piece of Genji’s illuminated Katana from OverwatchTM by Blizzard.
For liquid-cooled systems, the Extreme and Formula from the Maximus series are the ones that might rock your boat. The Code, a new class to the family of boards is still a heavyweight motherboard boasting high-end features lacking only in-terms of liquid-cooling. This uses the more traditional air-cooling fan combination. The Hero would be the best balance between enthusiasts and serious gamers in this family. The STRIX family however are strictly air-cooled beasts with intriguing design accents. The Maximus family of boards do have a sort of shield on top of the little transistors and components, exposing only important bits where other components like the CPU and graphic cards slot in. That, we think adds to the sophisticated look to the board.
There is also the AURA RGB colour systems by ASUS fitted into the board. Well, of course. This updated AURA RGB LED system has 2 independently controlled headers for something called AURA sync. AURA Sync enables you to sync the colour scheme and lighting projections according to your other ASUS AURA components like the keyboard and mouse as well on your desktop with their new AURA software. Very cool.
Audio cards are a thing of the past with the ROG board with SupremeFX technology embedded. It provides audio at better quality, higher fidelity, and more accurately than ever. You can even customise your audio experience with their Sonic Studio III.
Other very cool things about the boards are the dual m.2 slots with four PCIE Gen3 slots, USB 3.1 connector for the front panel, and two 802.11AC WiFi adapter plugs. Also the board comes with an integrated I/O board for better conductivity, and to eliminate the possibility of it going missing.
Down the line, there is the TUF series of motherboard which, we think looks like a tank. Rightly so as the ASUS TUF motherboards are built to be as durable as possible to handle the most extremes of overclocking with all sorts of thermal dissipation technologies. You can even overclock the DDR4 RAMs on all the slots; faster RAM, faster computing too. You still get AURA Sync like the ROG series Maximus and STRIX with the TUF boards. The TUF boards feature all sorts of extra protection like the brilliant looking Thermal Armor (TUF Z270 Mark 1) topside. On the back you get a fortifier to prevent the board from bending and handily prevents cuts and piercings from any sharp components. Your already fast PC can run even faster and more stable with dual LAN (TUF Z270 mark 1) ports found on the board for that intense MOBA moments.
The ROG and TUF not for you? Too high-end? Worry not, there are the Prime Z270 boards. Here you can choose either the Prime Z270-A, Z270-AR, Z270-K, Z270-P, and Z270M-Plus. Each board has different offerings and fittings that may cater to the more budgeted users and enthusiasts. Just like the ROG and TUF Z270 boards, this board can fit Intel’s latest 7th Generation Core processors. You can even do some overclocking with this board with ASUS Pro Clock technology. Other features on this board includes DDR4 compatibility, Intel Optane Memory compatibility, M.2 RAID support, and CPU thermal monitoring. Of course, it also comes with ASUS AURA Sync for a finely tuned colour symphony on your PC. With 5X Protection III you can be sure that it will be even more durable.
Maximus Comparison Chart
|Section||Feature||Pdt page||Pdt page||Pdt page|
|New code introduce||V|
|New hollowed design thermal||V|
|Best Gaming cooling||CrossChill EK||V|
|Water Cooling Zone||V||V||V|
|Best Gaming Lighting||Aura RGB||V||V||V|
|Best Gaming Audio||New SupremeFX Codec||V||V||V|
|Sonic Studio III||V||V||V|
|Sonic Radar III||V||V||V|
|Best Gaming Performance||OC design (Clock-gen)||V||V||V|
|DDR4 OC 4133MHz+||V||V||V|
|UEFI BIOS + BIOS Flashback||V||V||V|
|Digital power controller||V||V||V|
|Best Gaming Connectivity||USB3.1 front-panel connector||V||V||V|
|USB 3.1 type A+C||V||V||V|
|Best Gaming Networking||Intel Ethernet||V||V||V|
|Best Gaming Protection||ROG Armor||V||V (no backplate)|
|Pre-mounted I/O shield||V|
|Easy DIY -> Q design (Q slot, Q dimm ….)||V||V||V|
|3D printing friendly||Make it your own||V||V||V|
|GUIDE TO START 3D PRINTING||V||V||V|
|ROG Gives you More||Overwolf||V||V||V|
|More for you!||AI suite 3||V||V||V|
|ROG theme CPU-Z||V||V||V|
|Kaspersky® Anti-Virus (1 year)||V||V||V|
|PC Cleaner (part of AI Suite 3)||V||V||V|
|Beyond VR READY||V||V||V|
|The Power of Intel||Z270 Chipset||V||V||V|
|7th generation CPU||V||V||V|
ASUS ROG STRIX Comparison
|ROG Strix Z270E Gaming||ROG Strix Z270F Gaming||ROG Strix Z270H Gaming||ROG Strix Z270G Gaming|
|3D Printing friendly||V||V||V||V|
|Sonic Studio III||V||V||V||V|
|Sonic Radar III||V||V||V||V|
|Performance||ASUS PRO Clock||V||V||V||V|
|T-TOPOLOGY||V (3866)||V (3866)||V(3866)||V(4000)|
|Gaming Networking||Intel LAN||V||V||V||V|
|Connectivity||front USB 3.1 port connector||V||V|
|USB3.1 type A+C||V||V||V||V|
|CPU installation tool||V||V||V||V|
|DRAM Overcurrent protection||V||V||V||V|
|ROG Strix gives you more||Overwolf||V||V||V||V|
|ROG Clone Drive||V||V||V||V|
|Beyond VR ready||V||V||V||V|
|Intel chipset, Core||V||V||V||V|